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Publisher's Summary

A divinity professor and young mother with a Stage IV cancer diagnosis explores the pain and joy of living without certainty.
Thirty-five-year-old Kate Bowler was a professor at the school of divinity at Duke, and had finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart after years of trying, when she began to feel jabbing pains in her stomach. She lost 30 pounds, chugged antacid, and visited doctors for three months before she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.
As she navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, Kate pulls the listener deeply into her life, which is populated with a colorful, often hilarious collection of friends, pastors, parents, and doctors, and shares her laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship, love, and death. She wonders why suffering makes her feel like a loser and explores the burden of positivity. Trying to relish the time she still has with her son and husband, she realizes she must change her habit of skipping to the end and planning the next move. A historian of the "American prosperity gospel" - the creed of the mega-churches that promises believers a cure for tragedy, if they just want it badly enough - Bowler finds that, in the wake of her diagnosis, she craves these same "outrageous certainties". She wants to know why it's so hard to surrender control over that which you have no control. She contends with the terrifying fact that, even for her husband and child, she is not the lynchpin of existence, and that even without her, life will go on.
Kate Bowler is warm, witty, and ruthless, and, like Paul Kalanithi, one of the talented, courageous few who can articulate the grief she feels as she contemplates her own mortality.
©2018 Kate Bowler (P)2018 Random House Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rachel L. Stewart on 02-13-18

Exceptionally human

I have never felt more understood. Kate’s capacity for articulating the human experience in dealing with “life in-between” is exceptional. It was all I could do not to weep the entire time. She has so beautifully captured what it is like to simultaneously need to be weary, while needing to also summon the strength to carry on. I cannot recommend this book enough for anyone dealing with prolonged illness, medical mysteries, dying, not dying, living, not living, or one who loves others who are. Basically everyone.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Humble on 02-10-18

A plus /smiley face, Kate will understand this....

Would you consider the audio edition of Everything Happens for a Reason to be better than the print version?

Odd question, did not read the book however hearing this book from Kates tender voice is to experience Kate as she is a wife, a mom, a daughter a friend, a person of painful truths.

What other book might you compare Everything Happens for a Reason to and why?

Her book is unique.

Which scene was your favorite?

how can an undesirable life changing event have a favorite moment? these questions are mostly inappropriate for this particular audible book. fine if I had to say , it would be Kate giving herself permission to use curse words promising God she will stop after lent. Good luck with that Kate. seriously WTF.......

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

the whole book was moving. Kates transparency

Any additional comments?

"Aging is a F@#$%!ing privilege".

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Marion on 03-08-18

Not what I thought

Thought this was about how/why everything happens for a reason, the reason behind it.
But it was her life story and journey of going through cancer... sad- but interesting? Not sure!

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5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 02-19-18


Her truth spoken so well for a book she shouldnt have had to write

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